The Formula One season started last weekend in Australia with the cars sporting a new Drag Reduction System (DRS) – moveable rear wing to help drivers make passes. While the jury is still out on whether the DRS will help F1 make things more exciting for fans, one thing is certain, writes Brian Vickers in his latest blog post, the pinnacle of racing could use more bang for its buck...
'I agree that F1 has to do something and I hope the moveable wing works because the racing is really boring. I mean the cars are incredible machines, but no one overtakes and it’s typical that the guy who sits on pole wins the race.
You know, F1 has always kind of gone in the direction of technology and less about racing and NASCAR has focused on the entertainment aspect of the racing. I think F1 has reached a barrier and, I don’t know all the statistics in F1, but they are worried about the way the racing is and that’s why they are making this kind of drastic change.
At the end of the day, technology is great but it costs a lot of money and it doesn’t always make the racing better — and sometimes it makes the racing worse. I think that’s kind of what they are up against but I’m not saying there’s a right or wrong way to go about it, there are just different approaches.
'NASCAR’s focus has always been on entertainment value and not on technology'
No matter what racing it is — F1, dragsters or NASCAR — none of it exists without the fans and if no one cares enough to watch the race, the racing stops, at least at this level, because you can’t sustain it without sponsorship. And sponsors don’t really care how much technology is in the car, all they care about is how many people are watching the race.
NASCAR’s focus has always been on the entertainment value of the sport and not on technology. That doesn’t mean there isn’t technology in our sport, but there’s a lot more that could be in our sport. Now, it’s not that we aren’t capable of it, it’s just not allowed because it doesn’t really add any value to the entertainment side of the sport.
Like I said, it’s just two different approaches through history and I think F1 as a whole is recognising that it needs more entertainment value. The cars are trick and awesome, but if nobody passes anyone, people won’t want to watch it.'
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